Unlikely Singularities – Chapter 88


Pussy Educational Feature, Part I

February 24, 2017

Have you finished yet?”

No,” Maria scowled. “Social Studies is dumb. This is all pointless busy work. Who cares if my imaginary nation has gun control laws or legalizes marijuana? Nobody – ‘cause it’s not real. If they really want us to learn about the consequences of legislation, we should shadow a lobby firm. Or – crazy idea – read a history book. Social Studies teachers are people who were too lazy to go to law school or learn enough dates to teach history.”

That’s not fair, kid.” Tony stopped trying to read her school-issued laptop from across the table. It had pained him like no other when he found out students had to use the provided computers. Maria’s school had received a sudden and significant donation from the Stark Foundation the next day; it included fresh from the factory Starkbooks for every child. “I’m sure there is a reason…valuable lesson…or some…nope, I got nothing. Sorry. I think I’m supposed to tell you that they wouldn’t teach it if it weren’t important, but then the inverse would also have to be true, which would open up a whole lot of questions about the state of technology, vocational tech, and home economics courses in America, and I don’t have the energy to be disappointed in that right now. I’m busy trying to be awesome over here.”

Just trying?” Maria was laughing at him, but she was also typing faster, so Tony let it slide.

I was told that under no circumstances could I start without you. And you aren’t ready yet, so here I wait. Dithering away valuable hours of the day. Watching my youth slowly, slowly begin to think about passing. Feeling the joy I have for living drain-”

You can’t get it it in place without two hands,” she guessed, eyeballing his cast.

I could have asked Butterfingers. Or U!” Maria raised an eyebrow and Tony shrugged. “I can’t get it in place without two hands,” he admitted.

At least you didn’t try to tell me you’d use DUM-E.”

You’re a Stark, not some gullible plebe.” He sighed, impatient, but trying not to prioritize his project with the kid over her education. Parents enforced homework time. He knew this. It was written on a post-it somewhere on his desk. Thanks, Lewis, he thought with both malice and gratitude.

Done. What do you think?” Maria spun around her tablet and Tony skimmed it, his grin growing wider with each paragraph.

“’In conclusion,’” he read aloud, “’the Nation of Starkville would be unable to maintain the economic vitality to remain a meaningful voice in global issues or retain strong borders once the ratio of cats to people in Congress exceed 1:1. At that point, it would effectively cease to hold any utility as a unit of governance and would be replaced through attrition or neighbor aggression.’ You made it legal for cats to run for political office?”

It seemed like a natural progression from requiring dogs to have health insurance. And everyone knows cats are better than dogs. I did a separate analysis of that last week – with verified sources – to justify the decisions of Starkville’s citizens.” She took the computer back and saved her paper.

Aren’t there other kids in your group? What did they have to say about this?”

Maria rolled her eyes, “Obviously, they agreed that cats would bring the legislative process to a dead stop – committee hearings would only be scheduled for fishing industry bills and catnip regulation discussions. I mean, have you seen how lazy they are? Smart, but so lazy.”

Perfectly logical. I love it. And now,” he closed her laptop gently and bounced on his heels, “let’s break some rules.”